Abusing medicines or drugs is very human in nature and perhaps this is what lead to discovery of new uses of some drugs. Clenbuterol and Ephedrine are just two such drugs that became very popular among abused drugs.
What is Clenbuterol?
Clenbuterol was initially a drug developed to treat asthma in horses. It enlarges the airways and relieve the congestion caused by asthma. Later similar drugs were developed to treat asthma in human beings too.
I have written a lot about Clenbuterol already. Please click on the link below to read any of them.
People started using clenbuterol as bronchodilators and decongestants.
Meanwhile people might have experienced considerable fat loss. As a result, overtime people started taking clen for fat loss. Clen was found to be thermogenic in nature and a metabolic rate booster.
Clen became very popular among bodybuilders during cutting phase as it helped them to define their body by taking off that extra fat on muscles. Extra boost of more oxygen during workouts and endurance was an add on for clen using bodybuilders.
Women bodybuilders started taking clen as an alternative for steroids. Some consume clen even now thinking it as a steroid. It’s women’s favorite as it eases their workout sessions by reducing fatigue by supplying more oxygen. It is known to stimulate muscle building by burning fat. Most importantly it does not increase testosterone levels and male sex features in the body like steroids do.
Ephedrine: Chinese Mahaung
This is the chemical that made the herb Ephedra a miracle plant worldwide overnight. Ephedra or “ma huang” is an ancient medicinal plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. They used ephedra extracts or ephedrine to treat various conditions like nasal congestion, cold, flu, swine flu, hay-fever, asthma, weight loss etc.
Ephedrine became a famous fat burner very quickly. Many people started using ephedrine for fat loss. Bodybuilders used it for cutting fat and athletes took it for improving athletic performance.
But its side effects outweighed its benefits. Ehedrine soon became famous as it had serious side effects like high blood pressure, heart attacks, muscle disorders, seizures, strokes, irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, and even death. FDA banned Ephedrine with effects from April 2004.
But even now bodybuilders and athletes all over the world are using it for fat burning and improving performances. Please note that Phentermine (or Phen375)is a different drug altogether.
ECA stack is quite popular among bodybuilders where they stack caffeine and aspirin with ephedrine. (ref)
Clenbuterol and Ephedrine Similarities
- Both the chemicals are traditional medicines which are in use since centuries. They are referred to as “cousins” as they have similar chemical structure.
- Clebuterol and ephedrine were used as bronchodilators to treat asthma and such other respiratory problems. That means both of them wider our airways and provide us more oxygen and render relief from congestion.
- Both are stimulants and are thermogenic in nature. They generate more heat in our body. This process boosts metabolic rate and helps in burning fat.
- Both are quite famous in weight loss industry as quick fat burners. They are stacked by bodybuilders especially in cutting stage so that they can get rid of fat under their skin and show off their defined muscular physique.
- These twin chemicals are well known for similar harmful side effects too. As powerful stimulants both are worth to be called hazardous if administered improperly or overly.
- Both are banned to be used as fat loss supplements by FDA.
- Both lack sufficient clinical evidences in regard to their fat burning mechanisms.
Differences between Clenbuterol and Ephedrine
- Clenbuterol is a β2 sympathomimetic while Ephedrine stimulates both α and β adrenergic receptors. That means clen stimulates only beta receptors but ephedrine stimulates both alpha and beta receptors. In turn they induce secretion of catecholamine or hormones that trigger action.
- Clenbuterol is said to have anti-catabolic effects. Catabolism means breaking down of muscles for energy and it is also referred to as destructive metabolism. Nobody would want to lose muscles while burning fat as losing muscles brings down your basal metabolic rate. As clenbuterol is said to have anti-catabolic properties, bodybuilders prefer clen over ephedrine.
- Clenbuterol’s effects are expected to remain for a longer duration. Both Clen and Ephedrine dilate air tubes and increase flow of oxygen into our organs. It leads to an increase in our aerobic capacity. It also enhances our endurance in exercise sessions and reduces fatigue. But clen and ephedrine differ in terms of duration of such effects. The effects of Clenbuterol are said to last for 24 hours while ephedrine is said have its effects for 3 to 4 hours in our body.
- Clenbuterol seems to be more popular among celebrities and bodybuilders. Athletes use it as a performance enhancement drug. As per Wikipedia many athletes were tested positive for clenbuterol in doping tests and suspended from their sport. You can get more information here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clenbuterol.
Conclusion: Which is better? Clen or Ephen?
Both Clenbuterol and ephedrine are stimulants, fat burners, performance enhancers and bronchodilators. At the same time both can be very dangerous when it comes to side effects. For the reasons not clearly known, Clenbuterol is favoured by bodybuilders. But there are quite a many bodybuilders who stack ephedrine along with caffeine and aspirin (famously known as ECA stack).
But everybody’s body is different and effects of these chemicals can vary accordingly.
You can find some bodybuilders suggesting Clenbuterol while some suggest ECA stacking in the forums and discussion boards. (link 1, link 2)
An objective analysis of both will direct you towards clenbuterol as it is said to be anti-catabolic. A drug being anti-catabolic means a lot for any person who wants to be healthy and fit. But more trials and studies are needed on this regard.